Nairobi, Kenya, May 19, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it is committed
to increasing its investments and advisory services in Eastern and Southern
Africa to help prevent the global financial crisis from reversing decades
of economic and developmental growth in the region.
The announcement comes as IFC continues
to increase its staff and resources in Africa as part of a global effort
to decentralize and better serve clients. IFC’s office in Nairobi, Kenya
serves as its hub for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“IFC will work hard to limit the impact
of the global economic crisis on the lives of Africans, especially the
most vulnerable,” said IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Jean
Philippe Prosper. “As we respond to the changing economic times, IFC is
increasing staff and resources in the region to be more flexible and have
a greater developmental impact.”
The World Bank Group, which includes
IFC, last week joined with six other international financial and development
institutions to provide at least an additional $15 billion over the next
two to three years to reduce the effects of the global economic slowdown
on Africa. The funds will help promote trade, strengthen the financial
sector, and increase lending for infrastructure, agribusiness and small
and medium enterprises in Africa.
IFC’s will contribute at least $1.0
billion to facilitate trade, strengthen the capital base of banks, improve
infrastructure, increase microfinance lending, and promote agribusiness
companies. As part of the initiatives, IFC recently signed an agreement
to provide South Africa’s Standard Bank with $400 million from the Global
Trade Liquidity Program, which provides funds to banks to help increase
IFC’s strategy in Eastern and Southern
Africa focuses on expanding engagement with the private sector, especially
in financial markets, tourism, agribusiness, mining, and infrastructure.
Activities include direct investments, advisory services, and programs
such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Solutions Centers in Kenya and
Madagascar, which provide an integrated package of financing and advisory
services to smaller businesses.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.